NatWest pours £72m into Updraft’s financial freedom app

By Oliver Smith on Thursday 21 October 2021

Alternative Lending

Founded in 2017, Updraft is already aiming to lend £200m next year.

NatWest pours £72m into Updraft’s financial freedom app
Image source: Updraft.

High street bank NatWest has led a substantial debt and equity funding round into fintech startup Updraft, helping to add £72m to the firm’s coffers.

It comes less than a year after Updraft last raised £16m from investment firm Quilam Capital and the government’s Future Fund.

Quilam joined the latest round by extending its existing credit facility with Updraft, with NatWest also contributing to the debt.

Updraft aims to create a comprehensive overview of a user’s spending and borrowing to provide a series of interventions that can get them back on track—like refinancing credit card or buy now, pay later debt.

“Updraft has carved itself a niche in the Fintech space by providing users with a holistic view of their finances, and setting them on a track for future financial success by improving habits and reducing expensive borrowing,” said NatWest’s director of financial institutions Rob Lamont.

“And we believe the need for this type of solution is set to grow, as consumers take more interest and more control of their money.”

The fintech now has over 85,000 customers using its app and plans to lend at least £200m in 2022.

“This commitment from NatWest and our continuing relationship with Quilam Capital are both strong endorsements to the quality of our solution and our team,” said Updraft’s CEO and founder Aseem Munshi.

Interestingly Munshi said that the equity portion of Updraft’s raise remains open, indicating that the fintech plans to continue raising capital as part of this round.

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